By: Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855)
Villette was Charlotte Bronte's last published novel. It came out in 1853, just two years before her death in 1855. It is a poignant, strangely lonely and sad work, steeped in conflict between society's demands and personal desires. Set in the fictional town of Villette in France, it is the story of the young and intelligent Lucy Snowe, the narrator in the book. She is described by another character in the book as having “no beauty...no attractive accomplishments...” and strangely seems to lack a personal history or living relatives...
The book tells the story of a young man named William Crimsworth. It describes his maturation, his loves and his eventual career as a professor at an all-girls’ school.
Shirley is an 1849 social novel by the English novelist Charlotte Brontë. It was Brontë's second published novel after Jane Eyre (originally published under Brontë's pseudonym Currer Bell). The novel is set in Yorkshire in the period 1811–1812, during the industrial depression resulting from the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812. The novel is set against a backdrop of the Luddite uprisings in the Yorkshire textile industry.
|Biographical Notes on the Pseudonymous Bells
By: Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall (1867-1941)
This Country of Ours
History made interesting for young readers—This Country of Ours by Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall provides a simple and easy to comprehend way of looking at the history of the United States. Arranged chronologically in seven long chapters, it presents events in a story form, making them memorable and very different from other formats. One of the challenges that writers of history face is about fleshing out the characters and making the bland repetition of dates and dynasties seem relevant to modern day readers...
By: Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)
History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Spanning a period of nearly 1500 years, this monumental work of history tracks the orbit of one of the greatest Empires of all time. The sheer scale and sweep of the narrative is breathtaking in its ambitious scope and brings to vivid life the collapse of a magnificent military, political and administrative structure. Proceeding at a brisk pace, the original fourteen volumes describe debauched emperors, corrupt practices, usurpers and murderers, bloody battles, plunder and loot, barbarian hordes, tumultuous events like the Crusades and invaders like Genghis Khan and many more...
|Memoirs of My Life and Writings
By: Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)
History of the United States: The Colonial Period Onwards
Vol. I: The Colonial Period. Charles Austin Beard was the most influential American historian of the early 20th century. He published hundreds of monographs, textbooks and interpretive studies in both history and political science. He graduated from DePauw University in 1898, where he met and eventually married Mary Ritter Beard, one of the founders of the first Greek-letter society for women, Kappa Alpha Theta. Many of his books were written in collaboration with his wife, whose own interests lay in feminism and the labor union movement (Woman as a Force in History, 1946)...
By: Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)
The History of England, from the Accession of James the Second
Hailed more as a literary masterpiece than an accurate account of historical facts, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second by Thomas Babington Macaulay is an admirable mix of fact and fiction. Modern day readers may find much that is offensive and insensitive in this five volume work which covers a particular period in the long and eventful history of Britain. However, it is certainly a book that leads the reader on to further research into the events and people mentioned...
By: Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894)
A heady mix of thrills, mystery, atmosphere and memorable characters, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson is a classic adventure story that has enthralled both young and old alike ever since it was first published in 1883. Right from the racy opening chapter where the young hero Jim Hawkins encounters a mysterious guest, Billy Bones, at the Admiral Benbow Inn run by his widowed mother, the tale carries the reader off on an edge-of-the-seat roller-coaster ride of non-stop action and drama....
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde
A mysterious door-way, an incident of ferocious violence, a respectable and popular scientist, well-known for his enjoyable dinner parties who suddenly changes his will, the brutal killing of an elderly Member of Parliament, a diabolical serum that can transform one person into another – truly the ingredients of a fast good thriller! Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has captured the imaginations of readers ever since it was first published in 1886. It met with tremendous success and the words “Jekyll and Hyde” entered the English language as symbols of two conflicting sides of the same personality...
Kidnapped is the story of a 16-year old young man who is searching for his true birthright and is determined to make a fortune after the death of his parents. This timeless tale by Robert Louis Stevenson follows the life of David Balfour who leaves his home in Scotland after the death of his parents. First he meets his uncle for the first time in his life. His uncle is a very mean person who, at first, tried to kill David by devious means but then got him kidnapped onto a slave ship. In the ship, David makes friends with a Scottish rebel and together they successfully defeat the ship’s crew...
The Black Arrow; a Tale of Two Roses
The Black Arrow tells the story of Richard (Dick) Shelton during the Wars of the Roses: how he becomes a knight, rescues his lady Joanna Sedley, and obtains justice for the murder of his father, Sir Harry Shelton. Outlaws in Tunstall Forest organized by Ellis Duckworth, whose weapon and calling card is a black arrow, cause Dick to suspect that his guardian Sir Daniel Brackley and his retainers are responsible for his father’s murder. Dick’s suspicions are enough to turn Sir Daniel against him, so he has no recourse but to escape from Sir Daniel and join the outlaws of the Black Arrow against him...
A Child's Garden of Verses
Beloved by many generations of children, A Child’s Garden of Verses is a beautiful collection of children’s poetry. Sometimes thoughtful, sometimes whimsical, but always fun.
The Wrong Box
The Wrong Box is a comedy about the ending of a tontine (a tontine is an arrangement whereby a number of young people subscribe to a fund which is then closed and invested until all but one of the subscribers have died. That last subscriber then receives the whole of the proceeds). The story involves the last two such survivors and their relations, a train crash, missing uncles, surplus dead bodies and innocent bystanders. A farce really.
The Amateur Emigrant
In July 1879, Robert Louis Stevenson left Scotland to meet his future wife in her native California. Leaving by ship from Glasgow, Scotland, he determined to travel in steerage class to see how the working classes fared. At the last minute he was convinced by friends to purchase a ticket one grade above the lowest price, for which he was later thankful after seeing the conditions in steerage, but he still lived among the ‘lower’ classes. His comments on the experience make interesting reading. His father however was so shocked at the thought of his son associating with people ‘beneath him’ that the work was not published for a number of years,
“Olalla” was a “shilling shocker” written for the Christmas season in 1885, just before the publication of Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The nameless protagonist of this Gothic tale, a wounded soldier, goes to the Spanish countryside to recuperate. He finds himself enthralled by the beautiful Olalla, the daughter of his hostess, whose family conceals a terrible secret.
Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson
“Extreme busyness…is a symptom of deficient vitality; and a faculty for idleness implies a catholic appetite and a strong sense of personal identity.” What comforting words for the idle among us! Like many of the best essayists, Stevenson is very much the genial fireside companion: opinionated, but never malicious; a marvellous practitioner of the inclusive monologue. In this collection of nine pieces he discusses the art of appreciating unattractive scenery, traces the complex social life of dogs, and meditates in several essays upon the experience of reading literature and writing it...
|Essays in the Art of Writing
|Master of Ballantrae
|Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
|In the South Seas
Island Nights' Entertainments
A marvelous depiction of two sides of South Sea Islands' life through three separate tales. One, the experience of the incoming British keen to live free and exploit the innocent; the other the supernatural as perceived by Stevenson working in the lives of the natives. One tale carries the germ of the story of Madame Butterfly, since become a part of Western culture. Another is an extraordinary retelling of a German horror story transposed to a South Sea Island setting. The last is an effort of the pure Stevensonian imagination and there can be nothing better.
|A Christmas Sermon
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes
A classic of travel writing, this book recounts Stevenson's adventures on an extended walk through uplands and mountains in south-western France. Humorous on his own failings as a traveller, and on his travails with Modestine the self-willed donkey, it is also an exploration of peasant life in an area marked by the violence of the wars of religion. This version includes the fragment "A mountain town in France", originally intended as the opening chapter, but often omitted and published as a separate essay.
|Across the Plains
|The Black Arrow A Tale of the Two Roses
As a young man, Stevenson wished to be financially independent and began his literary career by writing travelogues. This is his first published work, written at a time when travel for pleasure was still a rarity. He and a friend traveled by canoe through France and Belgium and he relates how they were thrown in jail, mistaken for traveling salesmen and became embroiled in gypsy life.
|Tales and Fantasies
|Edinburgh Picturesque Notes